The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath is encouraging Gippslanders to support local businesses by exploring their own backyard – safely – in the midst of border closures and heightened restrictions that commenced across metropolitan Melbourne.
Ms Bath said while Gippsland has been spared from re-entering Stage 3 restrictions due to the hard work of locals, it was more important than ever to be vigilant with our physical distancing and hygiene measures.
“While there are concerning COVID-19 outbreaks across Melbourne, we want to ensure the risk of coronavirus in Gippsland continues to remain low so our local businesses, schools, individuals and families can continue to live with reduced restrictions,” said Ms Bath.
“The Nationals have been actively calling for a different set of rules to be applied to regional Victoria due to the low risk of transmission.
“In Gippsland we have suffered greatly as a result of drought, bushfire and COVID-19 and recognising our risks are different was important.”
Ms Bath said Gippslanders had worked hard to control the spread of coronavirus and it was only right locals were provided the opportunity to support locals and operate under a different set of rules to Melbourne.
“Our local businesses deserve the opportunity to recover and rebuild and I am urging Gippslanders to support our wonderful community and local economy where possible,” said Ms Bath.
“While Melbourne will be off limits for at least six weeks, now is a good time to discover Gippsland’s amazing array of attractions.
“There is nothing better than exploring your own backyard and supporting locals who have been hit hard.”
Ms Bath said some junior sport organisations in Gippsland were also preparing to start their competitions over the coming weeks.
“It is wonderful to see the work clubs and associations have diligently completed to develop their COVIDsafe plans to allow local junior sporting competitions to commence,” said Ms Bath.
“Sport keeps young people connected and active, and it also has a positive impact on our local economy; it is heartening to see it returning.
“Gippslanders have largely obeyed the restrictions, and consequently we have avoided returning to stage three restrictions.
“Now we must keep following the rules to keep Gippsland moving forward and continue to minimise the risk of coronavirus.”